We’re excited to launch the Clarizen Bot and make it widely available to our US customers. The Clarizen Bot is simple to use, easy to communicate with and proactive in how it provides alerts.
Here’s a little background on why we created the Bot in the first place. At Clarizen, we noticed an important communication trend: people increasingly collaborate the moment they need to, no mater their location or what platform they are on. So at Clarizen we are connecting those dots and we aim to give you more ways to connect our product to all the various ways you communicate—whether that is in email, on mobile or in popular team chat platforms like Slack, MS Teams, or Jabber.
From this understanding, developing a work chat bot was a natural choice for us. When we created the Clarizen Bot, we were on a mission: To help individuals and teams efficiently and effortlessly act on Clarizen data.
For the past 2 months, we’ve been partnering with a closed list of customers to help us design the Bot. What we learned from our customers is they want us to make it easier for them to act on key information faster. This ranged from knowing when projects were going off track so that they could address any issues quickly, to being able to log time on their timesheets with a single sentence.
Simple and Easy
A big plus of the Clarizen Bot UI is the ability for users to literally type whatever they want. This is a blessing for users but it did mean we had to do our homework and set up the correct natural language within the Bot. One of the first things we were asked to do was to tackle timesheets. During early conversations, many of our customers pondered, “Wouldn’t it be cool, if I could just type, ‘Log 1 Hour on Amazon’ and the bot would magically know?” Well, a good question like this simply couldn’t be ignored. We stretched the team, and today, you can do just that with the Bot and your timesheets—tell it where you want to log the time and it will. It’s that simple.
Intuitive and Natural
Having to learn a new app and all its new commands isn’t easy to do. It takes a lot of time. For many, the investment isn’t worth it. At Clarizen we made a few deliberate product choices and incorporated artificial intelligence so that the app will understand a broad range of commands. As a result, users can ramp up fast with little or no training needed.
I should add that since we are a global company and we’ve got customer teams collaborating around the world we didn’t want the Bot to just work with English commands—so we taught it to understand over 100 languages.
The end goal was to make the Bot intuitive and help foster adoption. This was validated throughout the beta. For example, Tyler Call, a Software Developer at Showcare Event Solutions, told us, “I was pleasantly surprised with how flexible the Bot can be with inputs. It recognizes a wide range of natural language. It’s pretty forgiving. That’s promising as any user can easily start interacting with the bot.”
We also received validation around our original reason for creating the Bot, that customers need critical Clarizen data when and where they happen to be interacting.
At Sailthru, it is a boon for them to be able to access Clarizen right in Slack. Their Director of Professional Services, Tim Delaney wrote me, “The Clarizen Bot makes things easy because we’re in Slack all the time, and being able to do things in one place saves time.” He also loved the Bot’s overdue notifications and said, “They help my team never miss a thing.”
Projects are becoming more complex. Even for the most seasoned PM it can become daunting to keep track of all the moving parts. To help with this, the bot proactively alerts you via a private direct message when the status of a project that you’re managing has changed or a task is overdue. The idea here is to let users know privately, so that they have the power to decide what to do next.
It probably goes without saying that if you have something that makes things easier, more intuitive and proactive you are probably going to get more done with fewer resources. Fortunately, this was also validated in the beta. I got a nice note from Sree Bhikkaji, who is a Director of Business Process Management at Kasasa, “Vince, the team has been very excited about the Clarizen Bot as an easier way to do things and save time. It frees up administrative time the project managers need in order to focus on more strategic work.”
We’re excited to receive this positive feedback from our customers and all I can say is we’ve only just begun!